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The Universe Unraveling

American Foreign Policy in Cold War Laos
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Seth Jacobs
Cornell University Press The United States in the World
eBook Typ:
Adobe Digital Editions
eBook Format:
2 - DRM Adobe

During the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations, Laos was positioned to become a major front in the Cold War. Yet American policymakers ultimately chose to resist communism in neighboring South Vietnam instead. Two generations of historians have explained this decision by citing logistical considerations. According to the accepted account, Laos's landlocked, mountainous terrain made the kingdom an unpropitious place to fight, while South Vietnam-possessing a long coastline, navigable rivers, and all-weather roads-better accommodated America's military forces. The Universe Unraveling is a provocative reinterpretation of U.S.-Lao relations in the years leading up to the Vietnam War. Seth Jacobs argues that Laos boasted several advantages over South Vietnam as a battlefield, notably its thousand-mile border with Thailand and the fact that the Thai premier was willing to allow Washington to use his nation as a base from which to attack the communist Pathet Lao.
Introduction1. "A Long Country Inhabited by Lotus Eaters": Washington Encounters Laos2. "A Soft Buffer": Laos in the Eisenhower Administration's Grand Strategy3. "Help the Seemingly Unhelpable": "Little America" and the U.S. Aid Program in Laos4. "Foreigners Who Want to Enslave the Country": American Neocolonialism, Lao Defiance5. "Doctor Tom" and "Mister Pop": American Icons in Laos6. "Retarded Children": Laos in the American Popular Imagination7. "No Place to Fight a War": Washington Backs Away from LaosEpilogueNotesIndex

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